How to and why you should learn web dev/design

Overview of web development and design

Web development and design are becoming so much popular these days. They are so because of how helpful they are.

Technology has made almost everything to be dynamic. In this regard, technology itself is changing at a very fast rate every day. Due to the changes, most of the things that were very hard to do before can now be done within a short time by just few button clicks.

In my own opinion, I would say that this is making some of us lazy, and also, it inspires some of us as well. Let’s take the area of web development, for instance, folks can now easily create an awesome looking website by just few button clicks. Using something like Wix, it doesn’t take much time to get your own site ready and running. When some people see this type of technology, they will be like: ‘for what sake am I disturbing myself trying to create a site from scratch?.

They may be right though, but I think there’s something they need to consider, if those fellows that developed the technology(Wix in this case) hadn’t take it upon themselves and work hard, there won’t be something like Wix(I’m just taking Wix as an example). Some things need to be considered I bet (you may check this out). Enough of the side talk, let’s get to the main point.

Web development and design are often confused to mean the same thing. But there’s a great difference between the two. Whichever one you are into, you must know or must have known HTML/CSS. There’s no alternative to them yet, they are still the building blocks of any complex website. Every web developer or designer must know these two technologies.

Web design

Web development

Let’s address web design first. As a web designer, there are some things you need to know and some tools you need to have. In order to be good at it, you need to have the following:

  • A text editor : We have dozens of them, like Notepad, Notepad++,, Sublime Text,, Microsoft Visual Studio, you may even use IDEs like Netbeans or Eclipse (I hope none of those is confusing to you. You can easily use the comment box to ask questions should you get confused).
  • Image editing app: You can use Photoshop, Illustrator, GIMP, or anything that works for you. I use photoshop.
  • FTP/SFTP/SSH Tool:  Filezilla, WinSCP or Putty. As a web developer or designer, you need an app to upload your website or web app to your server
  • Good browser:  A web developer and designer should have a good browser. I use Google Chrome but you can use any other good browser.
    You also need to have the idea of web hosting setup, Cpanel basics, Email, and FTP setup.


It’s not only HTML/CSS that will make you a web designer

If you have those above, you can now proceed to the next level. Writing just a static HTML/CSS site is, let me say boring. You need to add some functionality to your site. Basic Javascript can do this for you. This language is also very important to website designers.
Learn Data types, Functions, Event handling, Conditions loops, Arrays, Objects, JSON etc.
You can always get whatever you want from online, Examples; Youtube tutorials, StackOverflow, W3Schools, Codecademy, blog posts, etc. You can also use textbooks to get your feet wet. During my time, I used the offline version of W3Schools (inbox me if you need the zip file).

Oh! You already know those above? Impressive! That means you are already a web designer? Wow! Congratulations on your newly acquired skill! Now you may choose to build simple but professional websites, freelance, work for a company, build User Interfaces for web applications, do PSD to HTML/CSS conversions. Isn’t it cool?

Web development

web design image

How about advancing the skill you just acquired? You know… you’re just a designer, not yet a developer.


From being a web designer, you may choose to advance your skill from anywhere that suits you. You may go for HTML/CSS Frameworks, Server-side Languages, Databases or you go deeper into ES6/Frameworks. This is where the two words “Front-end and Back-end developer” come in.


Front-end developer

You’re called a Front-end developer when you’re interested in UIs(User interface) and User Experience.
The Front end is sometimes referred to as the client – basically the user’s browser.
Technologies you may wish to know as a Front-end developer are:

HTML/CSS Frameworks, One or some of these: Twitter Bootstrap, Skeleton, MUI, Pure, Zurb Foundation
ES6 or Javascript frameworks/Libraries: Angular, Vue.js React.js etc.
ES6/ES2015: This is just Javascript Specification by (European Computer Manufacturers Association, ECMA) You may want to learn how to use transpilers like Babel to compile from ES6 to Javascript for older browsers to work along with your code.
Other tools you may need are:
Task runners: Gulp, Grunt.
CSS Tools which include the following:
Precompilers like SASS, LESS and Stylus.
Responsive design with CSS.
Dependency Management: Bower/package management,, Webpack etc.

If you manage to know all those things above, that means you’re really awesome! Now you or people around you can call you a web developer and designer. You see? It doesn’t take so long time to yourself professional career.

Back-end developer

Who do you thing Back-end developers are? Do you know you can become one of them? I bet you already know that. In order to be a good Back-end developer, you should know one or more server-side language(s). Server-side languages are those used to interact with web servers. I should have talked about all those before jumping to this ones, but I considered to too basic. If you wish to get some more explanations on them, just a comment is enough to get me on it. Now, let’s look at the languages of the server you may choose from:

  • PHP: You must have heard about this. So, no need wasting time on it. It’s really cool and rock solid.
  • Node.js: This one is somewhat new to the system as a server-side language. It is powerful and exciting to work with. Getting to know it is much difficult since you must have know ES6 or Vernila Javascript. It’s kind of wired have two languages for both client-side and server-side. But if you know how powerful these combinations can be, you would opt to give it a shot. I may come back to this node.js later.
  • Ruby on Rails: This one is a framework. Not many people are using it now, though you may go for it, I won’t suggest it.

You can also learn Python: It’s easy to learn but not so popular as a server-side language.

You also need to know server-side languages

Knowing one or more server-side language(s) is not enough to make you a good developer. You need to learn database management system You have to master the language you choose. We have relational databases and non-relational databases. Examples of relational database management systems are:

  • MySQL: Very popular and easy to learn or use.
  • PostgreSQL: It is similar to MySQL but a little more advanced and a bit more powerful. These are just my own opinion. everybody is entitled to theirs.

We also have Non-relational Databases or NoSQL Databases. Examples include MongoDB and CouchDB.

Other side technologies you have to learn are Git Version Control /Github, SSH/Basic Command Line, APIS/REST Services, HTTPS/SSL.

You also need to learn app deployment because you can now build web applications.

You can choose from dozens of frameworks to make you work easier. Frameworks like Express for Javascript, Laravel, Symfony, and Codeigniter for PHP.

Know about MVC(Model-View-Controller).

Congratulations! You know all those above?  Now you’re a Good web developer!

You see? What it takes to be a web developer or designer is not much.

I hope those above are not so complicated. If in any way there’s anything you didn’t understand, feel free to use the comment box to ask. Until then, see you next time.




Kingsley Author


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